Part in heated seats does not comply with safety standards

According to Automotive News, Toyota has an issued a sales halt for popular models and notified the NHTSA of a non-compliance issue over a heated seat part. Toyota Canada will continue sales of the models stating there is no risk of injury to passengers.

The affected vehicles – Camry, Camry hybrid, Avalon, Corolla, Sienna, Tundra, and Tacoma – represent a large swath of models sold by Toyota in Canada and the US. Vehicles built after August 2012 are affected by the issue.

The issue could trigger a recall in both Canada and the US, however Toyota does not feel a recall is necessary as compliance is met when the seat assembly is tested as a whole.

Toyota Canada issued the following statement:

On January 29, 2014, Toyota Canada Inc. (TCI) notified Transport Canada of a technical non-compliance with Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (CMVSS) 302 in 2013-2014MY Avalon, Sienna and Tacoma vehicles, certain 2012-2014MY Camry and Camry Hybrid vehicles and certain 2014MY Corolla and Tundra vehicles.

The seats in the subject vehicles are designed to provide a comfortable seating surface for the occupant, and are constructed of several layers of soft material mounted on a steel seat frame.

One portion of the seat heater assembly when tested independently, does not comply with CMVSS 302. The seat heater is a very small portion of the overall mass of the entire seat assembly (less than 1%). When tested as an entire seat assembly (consisting of cover, cushion and pad) as installed in the vehicle, the CMVSS 302 criteria are met.

Toyota believes that this technical non-compliance is inconsequential to safety in that it does not, and is not likely to, affect the safety of any person.

As a result, TCI has also requested that Transport Canada confirm that this non-compliance is inconsequential to safety and that no further action is required.




About Mark Stevenson

Mark Stevenson is a former IT professional turned freelance automotive writer and news editor for Autos.ca. He's a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada and former member of the Texas Automotive Writers Association (TAWA). Mark spends an inordinate amount of time on motorcycles and resides in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia with his two dogs - Nismo and Maloo. You can find him on Twitter and Facebook.